The last pylon from the old Indian River Inlet bridge was taken down the other day, forever changing the scenery. It is strange to not see the pylons in the middle of the inlet, and I know many of us miss them for great structure to fish. They are still there under the water, and have been taken down to about thirteen feet below the mean low tide, I have been told. When I dropped by the other day the barge was still in place with heavy equipment, but the pylons were gone. This was the day after the full moon, and the water at a dead low tide was moving through the inlet very fast. This could have been from the full moon but after talking to many anglers that all but live down there, many feel the water is now moving faster. That would make perfect sense considering the pylons are no longer creating any resistance, especially on the surface. I am not a hydrologist, but I do believe that the water is flowing faster, so just be careful and keep that in mind. I took a quick video of the water moving through the inlet and a boat crossing the breakers out front. A few days ago the barge was removed, and now there is a clean view under the bridge. It is different looking, almost foreign, but boat traffic can pass one another much safer. If you know what you are doing, you can probably still fish the structure below. The dredging has started and you can access the north area now by walking over a dirt mound that is covering the pipe. I receive ten messages a day asking what the dredging will do to the fishing. I always say we will have to wait and see, but most likely it will not be a positive result. It was not the last time the inlet was dredged. The jetty caps and wall will be fixed by the Army Corp of Engineers starting in August, according to an article in the Cape Gazette by Ron MacArthur. Speaking of water movement, the beaches are shelved off again from rough waves so be careful parking on the sand. Do not drive or park close to the ledge, it could collapse, and drop your vehicle in the sand. Which granted would make for some funny pictures, but not a good time for you.
The Cape Henlopen fishing pier was fixed a few weeks ago. The end is now accessible, after it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. There is still a tall gate at the end of the pier. I am not sure why that is left that way, and not just capped off with a fence so it can be fished. I really wish it could be extended out to its original design, but those old pylons are a great area to fish structure. Fishing the Henlopen pier is a fun time for the whole family. There are many options to choose, fishing, crabbing, or just playing in the sand in the nearby beach. I do have one issue I am about to rant about. When I was down there taking pictures of the pelicans and talking to a buddy of mine. We noticed a little dogfish laying on the end of the pier on the other side of the gate. When we touched the fish with the end of a rod it moved. We quickly went into action, rescued the fish, and put it back into the water. An angler that was there told me he saw someone throw the fish on the other side of the gate. He didn’t want to say anything to them because the group that did this was intimidating. If you are not happy that these little dogfish constantly biting your line, then stop fishing or change up your technique. It is not the animals fault you have tasty bait on your hook. This fish was tossed over the fence in frustration or just plain cruelty. I would like to toss the anglers that did this over the pier. People who do not have respect for the lives of the animals they are catching do not deserve to fish. If you see this happen when you are fishing, make the call. People like this are going to create more rules for the group because of one bad egg. If you feel intimidated by someone or are threatened by them to keep quiet, I have seen that happen as well. Then do just that, quietly make that call and add being threatened to the list. You probably won’t see them in that area again. Sorry for the rant, but people doing this really chaps my hide, and it is illegal, not to mention cruel.
Fishing has been great these past few days. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday on the beach with Ron “Jiggy Fins” Kyle. He finally had the time to get down here and was feeling up to surf fishing. Ron has stage 4 colon cancer, and I have never met anyone with a more positive outlook on life. I am amazed at his attitude, and admire him for that. Most people start dying when they find out they have cancer, Ron started living. He doesn’t let it get him down, he just pushes on with a positive attitude. We had a blast in the surf, catching croaker, spot, kingfish, and I had a knockdown that started screaming out line then threw the hook. I was reeling in a small fish when something hammered it and ran. Not getting that creature in bugged me all day,and Ron added fuel to the fire. “Hey Rich, I bet that was some kind of state record that got away!” Talking smack while fishing knows no bounds, and yes I am still wondering what it could have been. We packed it in about 3 p.m. Ron needed rest, and we would be out the next day or later that evening. The next day I met Ron and my other buddy Ron out there, and some how managed to park in between them. Trying to talk to either one of them or alert them of a rod bounce was crazy. You remember when you were a kid and yelled Mom in a grocery store, yeah, it was like that. So I decided to have fun with it, I would look at one and yell to the other. We blasted croaker, spot, and kingfish all day long on fishbites bloodworm, shrimp, and crab scents. At the top of high tide we decided to jig for flounder in the surf, and then the water started to blow up in front of us, I broke out the spoons. Ron asked gold or silver, I said go for the silver, and he hammered a nice big shad, which answered the question of what was in front. Ron even managed a double hook up on two small red puppy drum on bloodworm fishbites, and Ron caught a burr fish or spiney boxfish on shrimp fishbites. Then Ron caught a huge cownose ray on light tackle that was an interesting fight. You will have to figure out which Ron caught which fish, I was totally confused by the end of the day. Ron “Jiggy Fins” Kyle told me later he had a great two days in the surf, taking his mind off of things. We were catching so much he hardly had time too sit still. Ron it was a pleasure surf fishing with you, and I look forward to our next outing in the sandbox, you sir are an inspiration for many.